Last week I posted a video of a guy sharing the story of a lady in North Korea whose commitment to follow Christ goes far beyond what we could imagine. (Watch here) He asked a very thoughtful question, “What is your response to this?” As I have processed this question in my life, here are my thoughts about how we should respond . . . .
When we read or hear stories of great people of faith, we tend to respond in a couple of extremes:
- We can get really discouraged about our journey. We think our faith is insignificant compared to their great faith so we do nothing.
- We have a “martyrs-complex” where we constantly talk about how we need to stop everything we are doing or buying or eating because we want to look like that great story of faith. We do it, not for the glory of God; but for the advancement of our name.
So how should we respond to great stories of the faith?
Hebrews 11 and 12 give us great insight into what our response should be. Hebrews 11 is full of stories of great men and women who lived by faith. Listen to what the writer of Hebrews says about some of them . . .
” . . . Some were tortured . . . Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword . . . Of whom the world was not worthy.” (Hebrews 11:35-37)
Quite a description of great men and women of the faith, isn’t it?
Following on the heals of this great hall of faith, Hebrews 12:1,2 gives us the response we should have to such great stories of following Jesus.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus . . .”
Our response – Run the race God has set out before YOU. Don’t be discouraged or try to run their race. Run the race God has set out for you keeping your eyes on Jesus – the Goal!